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DIY muzzle-loading black powder rifle
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  Binder

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Posted: October 28 2017 at 9:05am | IP Logged Quote Binder

Hello, I was thinking of making my own DIY muzzle-loading black powder rifle out of pipe, but there are some things I don't understand. Given the ammunition, the caliber and the amount of black powder used, how do you determine the length of the barrel that you need for the bullet to reach it's maximum velocity? Also comments about safety concerns are appreciated.    
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  backbencher

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Posted: October 29 2017 at 8:22am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Maximum velocity typically requires a very long bbl.  You're not likely to reach maximum velocity from a heavy blackpowder load in a shoulder fired weapon.

How do you plan to rifle the bbl?
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  justin22885

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Posted: October 29 2017 at 9:58am | IP Logged Quote justin22885

im pretty sure ML barrels are thicker and stronger than a pipe, if you plan to pack gunpowder and lead into a pipe and light it off, you may actually end up with a pipe bomb, if anything, buy an actual barrel and breechplug for it, theyre available.. how you hold onto it and ignite it is up to you
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  Binder

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Posted: October 29 2017 at 10:36am | IP Logged Quote Binder

backbencher wrote:
Maximum velocity typically requires a very long bbl.  You're not likely to reach maximum velocity from a heavy blackpowder load in a shoulder fired weapon.<br><br>How do you plan to rifle the bbl?<br>

Thanks for the reply backbencher. The basic goal of this project (other then fun) is to make a gun without any special tools, or parts, manufactured for firearms (including bullets and powder). Also, I'd like to try and do this in a way that doesn't require skilled craftsmanship (partially because I don't have it).

To that end I wasn't planing on rifling the barrel because making a tool to do so doesn't seem easy. Instead I was thinking of maybe using a 3D printer to produce a plastic bullet with riffling on it. Then I would screw a steel bolt into the back of the bullet to give it the necessary mass.   Using black powder I think a decent plastic bullet will hold up under the pressure, but if it doesn't work out I suppose I will just make it a shot gun.

My plan is pretty simple. Buy a pipe of the required length and caliber, and put a normal thread end cap on one end of it. Make a wooden stock, and attach the barrel to it with u-bolts and glue.   Drill a small whole in the chamber which will accommodate the wires for the wires of the electric matches I'm planing to use to fire the rifle.   Create, and install, a system for activating the electric matches (basically battery pack, button, safety etc.). Make some kind of aiming system maybe using a 3D printer. Work out all the remaining details including black powder, and bullet, production. Find someplace to test it. I'm not too sure about the laws here in California in regards to this kind of thing so maybe I'll need to find a firing rang out of state.    

Right now the hold up is picking a barrel length and caliber.
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 11:01am | IP Logged Quote Binder

justin22885 wrote:
im pretty sure ML barrels are thicker and stronger than a pipe, if you plan to pack gunpowder and lead into a pipe and light it off, you may actually end up with a pipe bomb, if anything, buy an actual barrel and breechplug for it, theyre available.. how you hold onto it and ignite it is up to you.

Thanks for the tip justin22885. Unfortunately an actual barrel is against the rules I set up for myself. I guess I'll just set it off from a distance the first couple of times. Since I'm planing on using electric matches that shouldn't be to difficult.    
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  backbencher

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Posted: October 29 2017 at 11:20am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

If you hold your pressure down to shotgun pressures, it'll work out.  Bbl will need to be over 18" if you put a stock on it, OAL will need to be @ least 26" if smoothbore.

It's generally hard to blow up a gun w/ black powder, but it can be done.
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 12:20pm | IP Logged Quote Binder

backbencher wrote:
If you hold your pressure down to shotgun pressures, it'll work out.  Bbl will need to be over 18" if you put a stock on it, OAL will need to be @ least 26" if smoothbore. It's generally hard to blow up a gun w/ black powder, but it can be done.

Thanks for the tips, barring new information I think I'll make the barrel 26".   As for the type of pipe I'm thinking either 3/4" or 1/2" extra heavy. I'm leaning towards 3/4".
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 6:20pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

how thick of pipe are you looking at?.. obviously you plan on testing this from a safe location
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